$2,000 research bursary in river restoration awarded to Griffith University student

$2,000 research bursary in river restoration awarded to Griffith University student

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SEQ Catchments awards a $2,000 research bursary in river restoration once a year to Honours students through the Australian Rivers Institute at Griffith University.

This year the scholarship was awarded to Amanda Neilen. Amanda was awarded the bursary for her project which focuses on the Lake Baroon reservoir in Maleny.

Amanda’s love for everything aquatic is visible the second you step foot into her lounge room, filled with three large fish tanks – each set-up as to capture a different aspect of a freshwater ecosystem.

Amanda first noticed the plumes of sediment and associated nutrients making their way into rivers and the ocean from her days as a scuba dive instructor along a wide stretch of the Queensland coast. Her drive to continue this research stemmed from a need to know what was causing this and how it could be fixed.

“Lake Baroon has a history of problematic algae blooms. We know that nutrients are an important driver of blooms, and I was interested in how organic nitrogen from catchments might contribute to that," she said.

“My project is going to investigate how riparian areas (creek banks) release or use and store organic nitrogen, and look at the effectiveness of river res
toration on nitrogen loads."

"This project is particularly exciting as I get to work with environmental and water managers, land holders and Griffith University researchers.” 
“I have always been fascinated with the beauty of Australian inland water systems.” 

“While traveling Australia, I was amazed at the diversity of Australian riparian ecosystems and the abundance of wildlife that they support. This further sparked my interest to study Environmental Science and more recently to specialise in freshwater systems.”

“After completing this project, I would like to continue my research through a doctorate at the Australian Rivers Institute in the field of biogeochemistry.” 

“I was astounded when I won the “SEQ Catchments Honours Bursary in River Restoration for 2014” as it will help ease the pressures of living expenses and allow me to focus on what matters my study!”.

SEQ Catchments CEO, Simon Warner believes it is very important that the industry invest in the next generation and particularly those students that are interested in building the knowledge to assist in building better catchment health in SEQ. 

“SEQ Catchments role is to deliver the best and most effective catchment and riparian restoration work we can with the information available." 

“We are constantly looking to further our own knowledge around the effectiveness of catchment management actions and river restoration and Amanda’s project on nutrient loads will important in expanding our knowledge in this field.”

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